When The Keep first came out in 1981, I was too busy with college and with reading Stephen King to take the time to read it. This book came back to mind around Halloween, when I read a blog post where contemporary horror writers recommended some of their favorite horror novels. One author included The Keep on their list, so I made a point of checking it out from my local library and finally giving it the reading it deserved.

The premise is simple: Nazi soldiers take over an ancient keep (a castle-like structure) in order to guard a passage through mountains leading to Romanian oil fields. A vampire-like being begins killing the Nazis, and things quickly get out of control.

There are plenty of creepy things in this book, but after nearly forty years of reading Stephen King, I didn’t find it much more than creepy. I gave The Keep four stars on Goodreads. I probably would have gone to five stars, but the ending felt too rushed, and near the end of the book there was a moment/concept that seemed like it was pulled straight out of a 1960s comic book.